It’s been a good few years since period pants first came onto my radar, thanks to the foghorn of information that is Instagram. I liked the idea of them, purely because I’d attempted to get on board with a mooncup (which is basically a cup you insert into your vagina instead of using a tampon) and left me feeling hideously uncomfortable and like a nervous teenager who was completely unsure of her own body.
There were a few things that stopped me making the initial leap: most notable the upfront cost, as most pairs start at around the £20 mark. In the long-run you’d of course save money on not buying disposable sanitary products, and whilst I’m happy to throw £20 at a dress or trip to Nando’s, spending it or anything practical seemed insane. I was also worried that they’d smell or worse – leak.
I’ve suffered from some hideous periods in the aftermath of having both of my kids. The most notable one being the third period after I had my first child, where I leaked through a super heavy tampon and a pad after just an hour and stained my best mate’s chic grey sofa with a puddle of dark red. Thankfully it washed out. But after experiencing those kinds of bleeds, and what with being reunited with the world of sanitary towels (which I’d ditched aged 15 after finally getting to grips with tampons), I realised I was probably ready to properly explore the other option: period pants.
Both me and Gemma were gifted a pair from WUKA, a glorious sustainable company who also happen to create the world’s most absorbent pair (they hold a whopping 12 tampon’s worth). So last month, with my period in full swing, I decided to finally try them out…
My first thought when I pull on my period pants (high-waist and in a super absorbency, in case you were wondering) is how bloody soft they are. A strong reminder that the rest of my pants (Marks & Spencer circa 2017 and full of holes) probably need replacing.
A few hours in and things were going well. The post-partum recovery had got me used to the sensation of actually feeling my menstruation, which if you’ve been a long-time tampon user can take some getting used to. I didn’t feel damp, I didn’t smell and I hadn’t leaked. The only issue was that the pants were black – great because I love black pants and it made it incredibly easy to completely forget you were even on your period, but not so great for trying to work out just how heavy your period actually was and whether you needed to call it reinforcements.
I felt a bit self-conscious in the afternoon when I knew that if my period was as heavy as it often is on day one, I’d be needing a serious tampon and pad swap over. I knew the pants would likely have more absorbency, but I was out and about in town with my dad and the kids and wearing a bright blue dress and had a sudden panic I’d have to be an actual modern grown-up who acknowledges period leaks with their 70-year-old dad. Thankfully, the pants did not put me in that situation.
In fact, they kept me dry (and odour-free, trust me, I gave myself a discreet whiff from the comfort of my own sofa regularly) all day, and I only changed out of them to go to bed. They’d been on for over 12-hours. maybe 15, maybe more.
I washed them the next day and left out to dry and went again on day three with the same results. And then I raved about them to my friends. I am completely and utterly a period pants convert.
Not only are they better for the environment (although obviously a luxury given the cost), but they made my period so much more comfortable. No more dull ache of a tampon not quite in the right position, no crinkly pad with weird slightly-floral smell trying to fall out of your pants. Just comfort. Soft, soft comfort.
There are of course plenty of brands to try, and some will fit better than others and some will come at lower prices. Primark launched their own budget version earlier this year, whilst Sainsbury’s stock a £10 style from brand Love Luna. I think three or four pairs would set you up to cover an entire 3-5 day period, so long as you do a wash half way through.
And for me, I don’t think there’s any going back…
Disclaimer: we have worked with WUKA on paid content in the past but this post is all our own views.